“Go ahead. I Can Lay Here Until I Get My Way.”

May 23, 2013

Notable Stats

Time of Revolt (TOR) – The duration of a child’s protest as a function of the surface they are protesting on. Bonus points for a bed of nails, hot asphalt, and mud.

Defiant Decibel Level (DDL) – The volume by which “No!” is yelled by a child under 18 months old. 

Our baby is no longer a baby. She is growing up and we knew it was coming after looking at our other two. To date, she has been a lot of fun, comedic relief, and that may be because we could finally smell the roses this time around. 

But as she hits the 17 month mark, we remember the significance of this age. We recall that it is the beginning of Nowheresville. Where they are too young to fully grasp “if-then” statements. But too old to be sequestered in a stroller or car seat. As a result of this age, the following statements have no impact on their actions (unless at a very loud volume).

“If you try to ride the dog like a horse then….”

“If you try and take a bite out of that piece of glass then…”

“If you throw your body down in protest at the top of the stairs then…”

“If you don’t wear a diaper for more than 2 hours then…”

“If you go to sleep inside a cabinet then…”

So what do you do? They don’t get action-reaction like we would like. They don’t understand how their choices play into the frustrating result (beyond their parents control) that practically slapped them upside the noggin. 

You are hoping some semblance of rational comprehension will come into play, but can you wait? Well…. wait you must.

Case in point was our adventure at the park the other day. Our 17 month old saw the big kids climbing up this metal stair contraption that had railings and poles. She couldn’t really get up that first step. It was all too big for her. Since we could see her impending injury as she tried to put her leg up to go higher up, we were ready. My wife let her remove herself from the area then she dared an attempt at picking her up.

Our daughter decided it was now time to boycott, just because we could not fix the stairs or make it possible for a one year old to climb Mount Everest without a Sherpa. At that point, it matters not where she is, she could care less. Her point must be made and made at that moment or it will lose its sting. She elected to screech and then lay on her back in the middle of the wood chips that was the park play area floor. I was confident that if given 10 minutes, she would have fallen asleep in the middle of the shavings with 12 kids stepping over her. Point made.

I suppose it is feistiness, it is her showing the will of a lion that she will not take any mess. Unfortunately, she is creating the mess and just does not know it. 

Whenever she can master the “consequence” concept, you have a chance as a parent. She obviously understands the word “No.” as freely as she uses it, so I am hopeful. In the meantime, in her march to two years old, we hope. We watch, we prepare for the extended time frame it may take for her to truly think twice about what is possible, but in the meantime, we hope her will to trump physical realities is a sign of her intestinal fortitude, and stubborn persistence. Even if she does lay in the road, figuratively and literally. 

- Doug Glanville


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